Arab and Kurdish women living in Kobane (Kobanê) spoke to JinNews and shared their perspectives regarding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan’s arrest on 15 February 1999 and subsequent imprisonment in Turkey. The ’15 February’ date been marked as an ‘international conspiracy day’ by millions of Kurds and others ever since Öcalan’s abduction in Kenya, subsequent arrest and imprisonment in Turkey.
Ferdos Kino, an Arab woman living in the Sirin district of Kobanê canton in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), believes that the prison isolation conditions of Abdullah Öcalan are against international human rights norms. Following the developments at Imralı Island closely (where Öcalan remains imprisoned), she referred to the last visit of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) in Turkey.
“None of the human rights organizations take practical action against Öcalan’s isolation. He cannot be visited by his family or his lawyers. The CPT did not even visit him during their last visit to Turkey”, she said. “We, as Arab women living in northeast Syria, owe a lot to Öcalan. We resisted the hegemonic powers with this system of autonomous administration. We condemn the prison isolation conditions that have been imposed and we will break this isolation eventually”, she stated.
Yazî Xelîl: The attacks on AANES ‘represent a continuation of the attacks against Öcalan’
Yazî Xelîl is another Arab woman from Kobane who supports the idea that the attacks they are being subjected to in AANES politically represent a continuation of the attacks against Öcalan ever since his arrest in 1999. “The system we built here is the outcome of the philosophy of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. Turkey and other hegemonic powers have always been against the construction of such a system in Syria. That is why they continue to attack us. This shows that they continue the international conspiracy with these attacks”, she said. “Öcalan has been resisting in İmralı prison for 22 years for the freedom of women and peoples. We will fight on until he is set free”.
Xanim İsmail: ‘They cannot destroy the Kurdish people’
Xanim İsmail, a Kurdish woman from Şeran district in Kobane, believes that Abdullah Öcalan’s arrest on 15 February 1999 was a conspiracy that was planned and that involved international cooperation. She said: “They have been keeping a peoples’ leader behind bars for more than two decades, but they cannot destroy the Kurdish people. They tried to destroy the resistance of the Kurdish people by jailing him, but they could not achieve this goal simply because we continued to resist”.
“We understood the importance of women’s liberation through his philosophy. Now, women stand up and demand their rights. In the past, we were roses under the rocks, but now we are in every aspect of life with our colours, our voices and our languages. We, as women, will continue to fight for his freedom. The women’s struggle against his isolation will continue as long as the isolation is not lifted”, she said.